Getting Started in Access

Become familiar with the Access database environment, including Access help with the ribbon, navigation forms, and more.

Working with your Access environment

If you've previously used Access 2013 or 2010, Access 2016 will feel familiar. It continues to use features like the Ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar—where you will find commands to perform common tasks in Access—as well as Backstage view.

The Ribbon

Access uses a tabbed Ribbon system instead of traditional menus. The Ribbon contains multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. For example, the Clipboard group on the Home tab contains commands such as Cut, Copy, and Paste.

The Ribbon

Some groups also have a small arrow in the bottom-right corner that you can click for even more options.

More options

To minimize and maximize the Ribbon:

The Ribbon is designed to respond to your current task; however, you can choose to minimize the Ribbon if you find that it takes up too much screen space.

  1. Click the arrow in the lower-right corner of the Ribbon to minimize it.
    Minimizing the Ribbon
  2. The Ribbon will be minimized. Click a tab to make the Ribbon reappear. It will disappear again when not in use.
    The minimized Ribbon
  3. To maximize the Ribbon, click a tab, then click the pin icon in the lower-right corner. The Ribbon will appear at all times.
    Maximizing the Ribbon

Using the Tell me feature

If you're having trouble finding command you want, the Tell me feature can help. It works just like a regular search bar: Type what you're looking for, and a list of options will appear. You can then use the command directly from the menu without having to find it on the Ribbon.

Using the Tell Me feature

The Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar, located above the Ribbon, lets you access common commands no matter which tab you are on. By default, it shows the Save, Undo, and Redo commands. If you'd like, you can customize it by adding additional commands.

The Quick Access toolbar

Note that the Save command only saves the current open object. In addition, the Undo command will not undo certain actions, like adding a record. Pay close attention to your information when using the Undo command to make sure it has the desired effect.